Alisha Lehmann says she has “never felt closer to her teammates” than at Aston Villa Women and reveals her anticipation for next summer’s World Cup.
It’s been a great start to the season for Aston Villa. The unity Lehmann describes off the pitch has certainly translated into her, with Carla Ward’s side the surprise package of the season.
They started the season with a thrilling 4-3 win over Manchester City and haven’t looked back. Villa are fifth in the table with 12 points and just nine off their tally from last season.
“Our start to Aston Villa has been amazing,” Lehmann said exclusively at an adidas event ahead of Aston Villa’s trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, live on sky sports.
“It’s so different this season, I don’t know what happened. We’re so close to each other, it’s so friendly and we want to play for each other, we want to play for our coach Carla and we are so happy.
“Every day when we train we smile, joke. I have never felt so close to my team-mates and so welcomed in a team like Aston Villa now.
“I always thought we could do it because we have amazing individual players. We just do it together and we play for each other.
“If someone loses the ball the next player goes for the tackle and that shows we want the other to succeed and that doesn’t always happen. In some teams not everyone always wants to see you succeed, but at Aston Villa, everyone would fight for everyone.”
There is always a ‘best of the rest’ in the WSL – Tottenham last season, Everton the previous campaign. Aston Villa currently occupy that description, and Lehmann believes the team are capable of reaching their full potential.
She explained: “We want to finish the season in the top five, that’s our goal and I think we can do even more because I see the full potential of the team.
“We just need to perform and maybe score a bit more – it’s a bit of our problem, to be more effective in the box, but I see a bright future for us. Everyone dreams of playing in the League of Nations. champions and anything can happen.”
Lehmann spoke exclusively with sky sports at adidas’ Family Reunion event in London, bringing together influencers, footballers and friends to watch England’s draw with the United States on Friday and celebrate adidas’ 70s-inspired campaign at the World Cup 2022.
The Villa striker has a significant social media presence herself, with 9.7m Instagram followers and 6.4m TikTok followers, allowing her to connect with fans.
“It’s the best thing I can influence people on social media,” she explained. “You can show them the good things, like hard work and what you need to do [to make it as a footballer]but I think there are two sides.
“There are also bad things because everyone always believes everything that happens on social media and for me it’s not real life. It also makes things a little difficult.”
One of her most defining moments came when she scored a stunning goal in Soccer AM’s game Top Bins, going viral on social media platforms.
Do we still ask him questions about this magical moment?
“Literally all the time! “, she revealed. “When it happened I was walking down the street and every second person asked me about Soccer AM, it was so funny.
“The show is amazing, I really enjoyed it and it was so much fun. I remember that moment.
“The funny thing is that before everyone was joking that I would never hit him as a joke and then I hit him. At Soccer AM we practiced first and I hit it before, then in the real thing, hit it again. That was the confirmation you need sometimes.”
The current Men’s World Cup is taking place amid a series of busy post-pandemic tournaments. The Women’s World Cup is just eight months away, with Lehmann’s Switzerland having recently booked their place in Australia and New Zealand.
It will only be their second World Cup as a women’s team, the last in 2015. Although Lehmann was only a teenager when it happened, she remembers watching the tournament at home in Swiss.
“In 2015, I was very young,” she recalls. “I remember they won very high against Ecuador [Switzerland won 10-1 in their second group game]I watched it and it was an amazing experience to watch them.
“I can’t wait, who doesn’t want to play in a World Cup? It’s the best thing in the world you can do as a footballer and I can’t wait. I want it sooner than it does. ballast.
“We’re all so excited. It’s Australia and New Zealand, I’ve never been there so it’s another country, a new culture so hopefully it’s going to be amazing.”
For now though, she is backing the Swiss men’s team as they seek to qualify from Group G, watching nearly every game in the tournament so far – including a 10am kick-off for his country in their opening game against Cameroon.
She said: “A lot of teams that we thought weren’t so good were surprised, they performed. It’s great, I watched almost every game. It’s cool.
“I have to put my clock [alarm] a day off at 10 a.m. because Switzerland were playing then. It was so weird having breakfast and drinking coffee and watching the game, but it’s cool.”
Adidas’ Family Reunion event host Big Zuu also gave his thoughts on the World Cup, predicting an upset in the Round of 16.
Zuu said, “The best thing about it is that it’s on all day, you find yourself watching it at different times. It might be in the morning with the guys at home, and then I’ll watch it at work with the crew.
Kaide Gordon and Elz the Witch on the 2022 World Cup
Liverpool winger Kaide Gordon: “I think Saudi Arabia will go far. The defense is strong, they are together too and they are a real team.
“England will definitely make it to the final with France. It would be interesting to see how England defend against the French attack.”
YouTube star Elz the Witch: “I’m a huge fan of underdog stories, so I love all the upheaval. I love the unpredictability. I also love seeing the different fans around the world. They come in and I love the cultural element that The Saudi fans and the Ghanaians have been amazing.
“Brazil and England are my favourites, but Spain look strong.”
“It’s a continuation of England from the last tournament. It’s almost the same guys, they’ve grown a bit now, it’s been four years. They’re older, they’re smarter, they’re wiser so I feel like we’ve got the exact same thing ahead of us. They can take it to the semi-finals or the final.
“Sometimes it’s a matter of luck and last time I felt like we had all the luck until Croatia. Hopefully we’ll take it all the way this time.
“I also like that you see the little stars coming from every country. Every team has a player that shines for them.
“There is definitely room for a team to surprise in the last 16. I’m very confident that the team that wins the World Cup this year will be one of the big teams, like England, Brazil or France. But I think we’ll be surprised who makes it to the round of 16 and the quarter-finals.”